What do you know about stem cell storage?

Becoming a new parent can be overwhelming with all the planning for the new arrival as well as becoming educated on all the baby basics. One aspect parents should put on their list of things is to learn more about stem cell storage.

I know, I know what you’re thinking… Stem cell storage is too expensive and is more of a “luxury” procedure to do than anything else.

But the truth is… it’s not. Educate yourself on this topic before you make that final decision.

There are various myths about stem cell storage.

Baby expos offer a vast amount of information all under one roof and is a great source of help to new parents. For the sixth year running, Cryo-Save and Salveo will be at this year’s Mama Magic, The Baby Expo in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, giving parents much-needed information on this topic!

stem cells

What people don’t necessarily know is that just like organ transplants are used to treat or cure diseases, stem cells can be used in transplants for the same purpose. Sometimes your own stem cells can be used, and sometimes they will come from a donor.

A blood stem cell transplant is done to replace the damaged or destroyed blood stem cells with healthy ones. These blood stem cells are available from circulating blood, bone marrow and a new born baby’s umbilical cord blood.

stem cells

For more than 25 years, it has been possible to store a baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells at birth for future medical use.

Rather than just discarding the umbilical cord blood, parents worldwide are now choosing to store their baby’s stem cells, a service offered by Cryo-Save and Salveo Swiss Biotechnology both jointly owned by JSE-listed Ecsponent Limited and International Biotechnology Group, Esperite.

Collecting stem cells from umbilical cord blood for private storage is quick, painless and non-invasive, posing no medical risk to mother or baby.

These stem cells are preserved and can potentially be used for the baby, or his/her siblings or parents for future treatments for diseases such as Aplastic Anaemia, Sickle Cell Anaemia, Thalassemia, Congenital Neutropenia and severe immune deficiency syndrome.

Using stem cells from umbilical cord blood to treat any of these diseases holds many benefits over other sources:

  • Like with any organ transplant, the donor and recipient’s tissue must match for a successful transplant. If they do not match, the recipient’s body will reject the donated organ or blood stem cells. The chances of finding a blood stem cell donor in South Africa are less than 1 in 100 000.
  • With umbilical cord blood, the patient will often only require a partial match, whereas with bone marrow they will need a 100% match. This reduced requirement for matching means that the likelihood of finding a donor is increased when choosing cord blood stem cells over that of bone marrow.
  • Additionally, umbilical cord blood stem cells are young and flexible, which means they have better regenerative abilities in comparison with stem cells from other sources, ‘a maximum of nine months old’, which means that they can differentiate faster.

stem cells

Awareness about stem cell storage of a new born’s umbilical cord blood and tissue, and the potential life-saving applications are growing among families and more parents are making use of this opportunity.

This service is available at interest-free monthly installments of less than R350 per month for five years, making it a worthwhile investment, especially considering that there is no public stem cell bank in Africa. 

Visits to the Cryo-Save Laboratory can be arranged, giving families the opportunity to inspect the storage facility and learn more about the life-saving abilities of stem cells.

For more information, visit www.ecsbio.com/salveo.

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2017-05-24 / 22:04

    Science has come such a long way. I remember when things like this used to be science fiction. Interesting read!

  2. 2017-05-24 / 22:46

    I wish I had known about this when my kids were born!! Science has really changed and I feel so wasteful just throwing it out!

  3. 2017-05-24 / 23:32

    I can’t imagine that this process has been around for so long. I don’t really know much about it and this is very informational.

  4. 2017-05-25 / 00:58

    I so wish I could go back in time and have this done! When my kids were born it was just starting to become a “thing” new parents could do but it was not quite yet available. I urge all parents to do this if they can.

  5. 2017-05-25 / 01:14

    I’m not sure how I feel about this idea, it kind of seems a little Jurassic Park-ish to me. At the same time, I can see how totally useful it would be in situations to prevent babies born with life threatening illnesses, and other lifelong problems.

  6. Claudia Krusch
    2017-05-25 / 02:42

    I wish stem cell storage was a thing when my Son was born. I think it is an amazing idea. It could be so beneficial.

  7. 2017-05-25 / 05:52

    This wasn’t a thing when my kids were born. When my twin granddaughters were born, this was way too expensive, we didn’t have the money back then.

  8. Victoria Heckstall
    2017-05-25 / 08:38

    I paid more than that to harvest and store my niece stem cells and I certainly HOPE it will have been a waste of time and money.

  9. Karlyn Cruz
    2017-05-25 / 09:41

    I never heard about this. But is sounds interesting! I will check this out,

  10. 2017-05-25 / 11:33

    I think it’s a great idea, and it can help plenty of family members when it comes to their illnesses. It can be a little expensive though.

  11. 2017-05-26 / 09:28

    I think this is an awesome idea and something that everyone should have the chance to do when they have a baby. Great post!!

  12. 2017-05-26 / 12:52

    I actually hosted a Twitter Party for a Milk Bank early on when I first joined twitter, stem cell storage is an important thing to consider, it’s like ‘insurance’ you hope you don’t need it, but glad it’s there when you do.

  13. 2017-05-26 / 14:53

    I really don’t know anything about stem cell storage, but my youngest son and I were able to donate his cord blood cells when he was born so I’m really hoping someone’s life was improved as a result.

  14. I really don’t know about Stem Cell Storage, but I think it sounds like a really great thing. I wish I had known more about it when my baby’s were little.

  15. pfcgrinner
    2017-05-27 / 15:20

    Such a great emerging technology. I found out about it just after our last child was born, would have done this in an instant.

  16. 2017-05-28 / 15:30

    I haven’t heard much talk about stem cell storage. Years ago it was a very hot button topic. I think everyone should do what they think is best for their family.

  17. 2017-05-29 / 01:45

    I have heard about this but i never done it when i had my daughter because of price. We already had a 4k delivery bill to pay…

  18. 2017-05-29 / 14:34

    So fascinating to know all these things. I’ve heard about stem cell before, but didn’t read much about it. Thank you for sharing the facts.

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